Media and Communications

Communication shapes our world—from how goods are produced and circulate, to how we live our intimate lives in a global landscape. Global connectivity and our new forms of media have created new forms of power, given rise to new social movements and new opportunities for government surveillance, and created new platforms for self-expression.

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Graduates of media and communications are prepared for graduate study in a variety of communications-related areas.
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The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates an additional 46,200 jobs to be created in media and communications between 2019 and 2029.

Media and communications jobs include editors, public relations specialists, reporters, journalists, writers and more.

Investigating the intersection of technology and society

Earlham’s approach to media and communications asks questions that explore the inner workings and consequences of communication in our age. How do media platforms transform communication? How is the infrastructure of net connectivity related to power structures? How does connectivity generate new possibilities for social life?

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Hands-on experience

A required internship supports media and communications majors in honing their career skills.

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Student-led engagement

Take the lead in campus media by joining the staff of the Earlham Word newspaper or creating a show for WECI, Earlham’s radio station.

Our faculty

Because media and communications is an interdisciplinary major, our faculty come from a variety of departments, including sociology, anthropology, English, education, global management and film studies.

Program details

Closely tied to our sociology/anthropology major, the media and communications major provides you with a deep understanding of how the ways we communicate are intertwined with society and politics. This prepares you for a wide variety of career paths.

As a liberal arts college, Earlham offers multiple disciplinary and interdisciplinary majors and minors in which students cultivate deep and specific knowledge and experience. Equally important, the College expects every student to develop broad, general skills and proficiencies across the curriculum.

As part of their general education, students complete six credits in each academic division of the College: humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and visual and performing arts. In addition, students meet requirements for first-year courses, analytical reasoning, perspectives on diversity and wellness.

Learn more about general education at Earlham.

To earn a Bachelor of Arts in Media and Communications, you must complete the following, in addition to general education requirements, an internship course and the senior capstone.

Required courses

  • SOAN 120 Introduction to Media and Communications (4 credits)
  • SOAN 345 Social Research Methods Research Intensive (4 credits) OR
  • SOAN 346 Fieldwork and Ethnographic Methods Research Intensive (2 credits)

Complete three of the following skills courses in communication skills:

  • CS 128 Programming and Problem Solving*
  • CS 256 Data Structures*
  • EDUC 290 Public Speaking (3 credits)
  • ENG 221 Introduction to Creative Writing (4 credits)
  • FILM 215 Introduction to Film Studies (4 credits) Offered only once every three years
  • MGMT 368 Business Communication (3 credits)
  • SOAN XXX Science, Medicine, and Media Students produce videos focused on science and medicine communication.
  • SOAN XXX Anthropology of Sound
    • Students produce podcasts as assignments.

Complete six of the following elective courses:

  • CHIN 382 Contemporary Chinese Cinema (3 credits)
  • CS 355 Computer Game Design
    • CS 128 and CS 256 are Prerequisites*
  • FILM 207 Literature and Film (4 credits)
  • FILM 222 Greece and Rome in Film (4 credits)
  • FILM 252 Philosophy and Film Theory (4 credits)
  • FILM 299 Religion and Culture of Hip Hop (4 credits)
  • FILM 330 Post Colonial Theory (4 credits)
  • FILM 342 Japanese Cinema (3 credits)
  • MUS 371 Making Music with Computers.
  • MUS 473 Programming Music for Computers
    • Prerequisite: MUS 371
  • SOAN 118 Inequalities, Power and Society (4 credits)
  • SOAN 215 Identity and Social Movements: Media and Protests (4 credits) (WI)
  • SOAN 309 Sociology of Social Media (3 credits) (WI)
  • SOAN 310 Media and Surveillance in Contemporary Society (4 credits)

*Students who take CS 128 and CS 256 can take CS 355 Computer Game Design as an elective.

View a full list of courses and their descriptions.

The media and communications major draws on coursework from sociology, anthropology, English, education, global management and film studies.

The goal of the program is to develop leaders who understand how contemporary mechanisms of communication help reshape our world politically, economically and personally and who can shape policies at the national and global level. The coursework emphasizes how the emergence of new technologies produces new forms of social life.

There are a wide variety of internships available for media and communications majors. You may choose to intern on campus through work with the Earlham Word or WECI, or you may find an internship at an external organization.

Learn more about available programs via our Center for Global and Career Education.

Yes! Off-campus study is encouraged for media and communications majors.

Learn more about off-campus study opportunities via our Center for Global and Career Education.

Media and communications majors are interested in how communications shape society and vice versa. They are often passionate about media—from newspapers and television to social media and beyond. If you’re interested in a career in journalism, policymaking, law, marketing and advertising, public relations or business, the media and communications major may be for you.

Next steps

We continue to monitor the effects of an industrial fire 1.1 miles from campus.
We continue to monitor the effects of an industrial fire 1.1 miles from campus.